Thursday, June 21, 2018

Brush Pen Illustration

Brush Pen Illustration is a new tutorial/step-by-step DIY manual from artist designer Sho Ito, published by Quarry Books - Quarto due out 26th June 2018. Originally published in Japanese in 2011 as "Fude Pen Illust Renshucho (Boutique Mooc #958)" it's been reformatted and translated for the re-release. It is 106 pages and contains specific tips and tricks for rendering hundreds of animals, plants, foods, shells and many other items from daily life.  Many of these are deceptively simple and all are fun. The book is mostly printed in full color and includes a goodly proportion of clear photographs, especially in a useful inspiration gallery showing ways to use the art the reader produces.

The aesthetic (see cover) is definitely Asian in feel.  The tutorial items will all be recognizable to western readers as well.  The designs are spare and elegantly simple.

The book begins with an intro and materials chapter  including pens, paper, and general techniques (circa 15% of the content count). The author does include a short resources list with e-tailers who carry the brush pens and types of paper which are best to use with these projects. After the intro, the lion's share of the book is given over to specific tutorials grouped by subject (animals, foods, plants, Asian art, black and white illustrations etc). 

There are a number of really interesting lessons in this book concerning the use of space and movement.
One of the things that many artists struggle with is the use of negative space.  Ito's simple step by step tutorials brilliantly utilize negative space to illustrate 3D shapes and volume (see the sheep example below)

There are many many such takeaways from this very enjoyable book.

Well worth a look.

Four stars

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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